The Transformation Of Jean Valjean Exemplified In Les Miserables

652 words - 3 pages

All humans have different morals that change based on their environment and circumstance. Jean Valjean, in the novel Les Miserables(1961), changes from someone with confused morals to a man with more morals than most whom with respect learns to love and share.
The protagonist’s transformation begins when the bishop recognizes Jean Valjean’s human soul that is capable of goodness. When he is put out into the streets, Valjean goes from place to place being rejected for being a convict until he meets the bishop who sees him as a common person, “That men saw his mask, but the bishop saw his face”(75). Even though people might be good, they don’t always see someone’s true soul. The bishop’s simple act of kindness and deeper understanding leads to Valjean living a better, more moral life, “From that moment we have seen, he was another man… It was more than a transformation-it was a transfiguration” (72). Since the bishop recognizes Valjean as an “another man” (72), he fulfils what he wants Valjean to become, a better more loving person.
When Valjean is given a chance to restart his life from the bishop, he is given two candlesticks. These candlesticks are a reminder of the promise he makes to the bishop. “Forget not, never forget that you have promised me to use this silver to become an honest man” (33). Even though Valjean does not recall this promise, he seals it by taking not only the silver but the two candlesticks as well. After Valjean gets wealthier, he sells all his possessions of value except for the two candlesticks that the bishop has given him. “It was a room very well fitted with mahogany furniture, ugly as all furniture of that kind is, and the walls covered with shilling paper. They could see nothing but two candlesticks of antique form that stood on the mantle, and appeared to be silver” (54). The constant presence of...

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